The World Academy at King Abdullah Economic City

  • area / size 133,472 sqft
  • Completed 2018
  • INNOCAD architecture created a thoughtful and innovative space for The World Academy at King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia.

    “Education for Life” is the mission of The World Academy at King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia. The institution offers its students K-12th grades, along with the highest educational standards and a rich international curriculum. The concept for different educational environments is based on “we places,” which are more communicative, and the “me places,” designed for individual recreation and group learning.

    The “assembly space” is an open library, canteen and a green atrium where students mingle during free time. Moreover, the forum is an auditorium and a vertical connection between the floors. The main hallway, “the connection,” offers open communication with various layouts. Along the hallway commonly used “we-places” are situated – zones for special education, a design and tech lab with workstations, a preparation room, and robotics. The “life skills & entrepreneurship center” is a multifaceted space for group teaching, lectures, and individuals.

    The innovative interior concept is then organized by six clusters: “market place,” “assembly space,” and “knowledge space.” The market facilitates “meet and greet” and an interactive common area. It includes an open learning and enclosed project room for focused teamwork. The “knowledge space” has a maximum of six classrooms, each with flexible furnishing and a retreat space that provides many settings for teaching, like collaboration or recreation.

    Each cluster has a particular color-code in its interior, symbolizing student affiliation, appearing in the academy’s common areas. A 3D signage concept was also developed based on the color codes. Graphical color cores are main elements that provide easy orientation and guidance through the entire complex. The signage is enhanced with inspiring quotes and light fixtures that align with the same theme in the graphics.

    The design intention is to harmonize education’s physical, virtual, and social world offering enhanced environments for “New Learning.” The transparent interior encourages student’s creativity through many glass surfaces and white writable walls, a blank canvas upon which to express individuality. The space, pedagogical approach, and technology prepare students for a professional future involving communication and collaboration with others. Specifically, glass walls and open communication spaces like the amphitheater’s open library foster interaction between mixed age groups. An abundance of natural light, acoustic elements, and green components throughout the project foster students’ well-being, creativity and ability to learn. Overall, this international school is progressive in both its design and social viewpoint, differing from typical school structures and concepts.

    Design Team: Oliver Kupfner, Martin Lesjak, Jörg Kindermann, Harald Glanz, Eva Lesjak, Michal Kniaz
    PhotographyPaul Ott